Phase II requires $7.59 million in state funding
Thanks to a successful $7.23 million state bonding request in 2012, Phase I of the Transportation & Emerging Technologies Renovation Project at Dakota County Technical College has been completed. The college’s Transportation and Technical Careers program areas had not received a remodel since initial construction in 1973, a gap of more than 40 years. The first phase of the two-phase project updated 55,200 square feet of the college’s main campus in Rosemount, Minn. The Welding Technology program area was modernized and relocated, the latter update providing direct outside access to a previously landlocked space.
Other program areas renovated in Phase I were GM ASEP, Automotive Technician and Auto Body Collision Technology. Improvements in these lab areas included new epoxy flooring and fresh paint along with upgrades to electrical and air quality systems. The ABCT program received new, industry-essential waterborne paint booths. A new parts department space was added to provide more convenient access for all Transportation programs. New multiuse classroom spaces were also added.
DCTC is requesting $7.59 million in state bonding funds for the second phase of the renovation project to update 66,550 square feet. Phase II will renovate the Heavy Duty Truck Technology and Heavy Construction Equipment Technology program areas as well as the central commons while developing new essential space for emerging technology programs, including Nanoscience Technology, Energy Technical Specialist and Civil Engineering Technology.
By maximizing space utilization and eliminating redundancies in specialized equipment needs, the two-phase, 118,000-square-foot remodel of instructional spaces augments the capacity, relevance and productivity of academic programs that provide graduates for high-wage, high-demand transportation and STEM-related careers.
Mike Opp, dean of transportation and technical careers at the college, noted that the two-phase renovation project utilizes an innovative coring strategy that focuses on using common classroom and laboratory space to support multifunctional learning across related program areas in an efficient and flexible manner.
“By creating more efficient spaces, DCTC right-sized classroom and laboratory spaces, utilized lab space across multiple programs, and designed spaces that are adaptable for future growth as well as changes in academic programming,” Opp said.
Opp added that Phase I provided shared spaces designed to educate students about transmissions and alignments between the Transportation programs of study. A flexible, multiuse welding lab for coring and sharing was created for use between students in the Welding Technology, Heavy Construction Equipment Technology and Energy Technical Specialist programs.
“By providing training for high-wage, high-demand jobs, our transportation and technical programs continue to attract student interest at increasing levels,”Opp said. “The project’s space efficiencies support curricular modifications, providing additional points of entry while increasing student access to state-of-the-art laboratories and specialized, industry-standard equipment. These modifications improve the quality of the instructional environment and help ensure the academic success of our learners.”
DCTC Director of Operations Paul DeMuth reported that the renovation project accomplished significant aspects of the college’s Facilities Master Plan. Building deficiencies were corrected, including but not limited to upgrading electrical components in lab spaces as well as improving ventilation in the welding area and indoor air quality in adjacent spaces. Cost-effective and necessary storage solutions for automotive labs were also implemented.
DeMuth pointed out that the project will reduce energy consumption by upgrading HVAC, VAV and lighting systems in the remodeled areas. Due to improved and renovated systems, the college will save 14 percent in maintenance and repairs costs. Replacing outmoded air-handling units will save approximately 12.5 percent on the college’s utility bills.
Completing Phase II of the Transportation & Emerging Technologies Renovation Project is critical to the overall success of the college’s innovative, student-first strategy to meet Minnesota’s workforce needs now and in the future. According to James L. Applegate, vice president of strategic impact for the Lumina Foundation, 70 percent of all adults in Minnesota will need a college credential to compete for jobs in the economic climate of 2018. At the current rate, the state will fail to meet this goal by the year 2025 when only 55 percent of the adult population will be college educated.
Consequences of delayed funding for Phase II
- Recruitment of underrepresented students to these programs will be severely hindered when the learning environment is of poorer quality than area high schools and below industry expectations.
- Growth of current and future industry partnerships and additional external funding will be impeded when the facility is unable to fulfill outcome expectations and obligations.
- DCTC will not adequately meet industry skill standard expectations of its transportation and emerging technologies industry partners.
- The ability to meet skill standards is directly impacted by the condition of the learning environment.
- Partial completion of the two-phase project negatively impacts the delivery of many DCTC programs.
- While Phase II programs will be directly impacted, so will the opportunity to bring new emerging technologies to campus.
- Classroom and laboratory spaces will continue to be used inefficiently and programmatic coring will be slowed, delaying significant savings in shared equipment, space utilization, and program sustainability efforts.
To learn more about both phases of the Transportation & Emerging Technologies Renovation Project at DCTC, contact:
- Paul DeMuth
Director of Operations
- Mike Opp
Dean of Transportation and Technical Careers
- Erin Edlund
Director of Institutional Advancement